The first in Russia: A unique method of breast cancer treatment


ЕМС has implemented the latest method for treating early-stage breast cancer - breast sparing surgical treatment with simultaneous intraoperative radiotherapy.

For the first time in Russia, the European Medical Center has implemented the latest method for treating early-stage breast cancer - breast sparing surgical treatment with simultaneous intraoperative radiotherapy using the Xoft System. Revolutionary technology allows radiation therapy to be conducted in one session right during the operation, which significantly reduces the length of treatment and greatly reduces the side effects of radiation.   

The surgery to remove a breast tumor with intraoperative radiation therapy was successfully performed on a 63-year-old patient.

"The European Medical Center aims to provide its patients with the most advanced methods of cancer treatment such as intraoperative radiation therapy. We are very excited to become the first clinic, not only in Russia but in the CIS and Eastern Europe, to offer treatment with the Xoft System to patients with early-stage breast cancer," said Dr. Nidal Salim, head of the Radiotherapy Center at the European Medical Center. In early-stage breast cancer, after performing a lumpectomy, which is a breast-preserving operation in which the affected tissue of the breast is removed, patients are usually begun on radiation therapy in order to completely destroy any remaining tumor cells and reduce the likelihood of the cancer returning. Traditional radiation therapy is administered over the course of 33 treatment days (1-1/2 months).

For the past several years, global research has targeted the possibility of reducing the length of treatment from 33 to 20 or 16 treatment days. The studies have found no difference in treatment efficacy with an increase in the single dose of radiation.

However, 20 days are enough, especially for elderly patients who often experienced difficulties during radiation therapy and sometimes could not adhere to the treatment regimen.

"With the Xoft System of intraoperative radiation therapy, patients receive the entire dose of radiation needed in 8 minutes directly following the lumpectomy procedure, right in the operating room, and can sooner return to their normal rhythm of life," noted Dr. Nidal Salim.

In accordance with European guidelines, the intraoperative radiation therapy can be recommended to patients over age 50 with tumors less than 2 cm and in the absence of metastasis. For some patients, the intraoperative radiation therapy can also be used as "boost therapy", high-dose radiation directed to the former tumor area which reduces the length of traditional radiation therapy by 10-15 days.

The Xoft System represents a non-isotope method of radiotheapy and can therefore be installed in nearly any clinic. During the operation the focused single dose of radiation is aimed directly to the area of excised tumor. During treatment, no special protective equipment is required and the doctor may remain in close proximity to the patient.

Due to the miniature radiation sources used to irradiate the tumor directly, the Xoft System is also effectively used for non-surgical treatment of skin cancer (with the exception of melanomas) and for cervical and endometrial cancers.

The Radiotherapy Center at EMC is led by Dr. Nidal Salim, who has been appointed chief independent specialist in Moscow for radiation therapy, and will become an educational center for intraoperative radiation therapy for specialists from Russia, the CIS countries, Eastern Europe and the UAE.